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Photos: Rare solar eclipse forms stunning ‘Ring of Fire’

Thursday, December 26th 2019, 11:21 am - The next annular eclipse will be on June 21, 2020

Millions were treated to a rare annular solar eclipse on December 25, which only visible for a few minutes across the Middle East and Asia.

This event was seen mostly in seen in Saudia Arabia, southern India and Southeast Asia where skies were clear. The photographs that were taken in these regions have since been viewed by millions through social media.

The Weather Network meteorologist and science writer, Scott Sutherland, says that this astronomical event occurs by the Moon blocking out the middle of the Sun's disk, which leaves a thin ring of light around its edges.

"This happens due to the apparent sizes of the Moon and the Sun, which are related to their distance from us. While the sizes and distances of the Sun and the Moon work out perfectly to make eclipses (the Sun is around 400 times larger than the Moon, and 400 times farther away than the Moon), the distances aren't constant. So, what type of eclipse we see - total or annular - depends on the eclipse timing and the exact distances (and thus apparent sizes) at that time," explains Sutherland.

In the past decade, there have been 14 solar eclipses and of those, seven were annular. The next annular eclipse will be on June 21, 2020, and will be visible across northern Asia.

See below for a look at the stunning 'Ring of Fire' solar eclipse.

Thumbnail image shows the annular solar eclipse in 2012 taken in Nevada. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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